Developer frustrated that Apple grants Game Center support to pirated iOS apps

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  • Reply 61 of 145
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Yes, it most definitely can. If the app wasn't downloaded from the app store, it most likely was pirated. Apple keeps a record of software that was legitimately purchased or downloaded from its store. It cross references those records when you go to update an app. For instance, if you pirated Angry Birds and the App Store releases an update. Your device catalogs the apps you have installed on your device. When you start up the App Store, any updates for apps you have installed will appear as available on either your device regardless of whether the app has pirated or not.



    If you go to update the app using the official store, the App Store will not allow the user to update the app. So, Apple knows when you downloaded the app from the App Store.



    Apple could probably easily implement a system where its download records are compared with those of users using Game Center. That doesn't mean Apple blocking out the pirated software was intentional.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by katastroff View Post


    Apple can't tell which games are pirated.



  • Reply 62 of 145
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    seriously? The game is freakin' 99 cents. Looks like apple needs to ban 11,000 losers.



    exactly!!!
  • Reply 63 of 145
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stuffe View Post


    I'd like to know how you settled on that figure. To follow to follow it to it's conclusion either out of each 10 instances of the game installed there is 1 legitimate install, 1 pirate install, and 8 subsequent installs shared between the 2 users on other devices. So the average user, whether legit or not, installs a game on 5 devices? I think not. But then that's why we have opinions I suppose.



    A 90% piracy rate seems about right to me. Check out recent PC game give-aways where the dev ran a *pay what you like* system allowing you to legitimately pay 1 penny for an app, and they still reported approx 10 times the number of installs against purchases.



    Mine was an estimate. I actually ignored all the numbers in the article because their data was clearly pure garbage.



    You also need to factor in returns. Maybe this game sucks and people played it for 30 seconds and returned it in the window. I imagine there are several more cases that we have not even discussed.



    I am not the one who published an article that contained absolutely 0 thought or calculations about the content. How can 90% seem right when the one thing we now for certain is that it is very wrong?
  • Reply 64 of 145
    stuffestuffe Posts: 394member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadow415 View Post


    ...which will be bypassed by a cracker in about the time it takes the programmer to type those 3 lines of code in.



    Not so!



    This is how it all works. The developer codes his app. When done, it's packaged up, compiled, and sent to apple. Apple then approve after several aeons, then they "wrap" the binary with their digital signatures and all the lovely DRM sauce.



    A pirated app is merely an app that has gone through the wringer and had the DRM layer removed from the binary. The binary as an executable is exactly the same as it was when the developer sent it away.



    In order to remove these "3 lines" or whatever they put in there to detect it, they would have to decompile the code, find it, remove it, recompile it, repackage it and everything. This whilst not impossible is highly unlikely. Why? Because who will have the skills to do this? An iOS developer. Now why would someone with these skills do this, rather than be writing their own apps, and why would they be writing apps if they knew someone would just be doing this to them?



    As it stands you can run the same script over any App store purchase and dr-drm in one go. To alter the developers code to requires individual effort for every single binary. Say it takes 10 seconds to de-drm (not unrealistic). You can do hundreds of apps an hour, your only limit is getting your hands on the source, i.e. at least 1 person needs to buy it first and stick it up on a torrent. Now imagine having to reverse engineer each one by hand and do as described previously. Several weeks effort potentially, and 1 de-drmd file at the end.



    Trust me, people do not do this, they grab the current script that 1 or 2 people write and maintain, and they perform a generic un-drm without altering any of the underlying code.
  • Reply 65 of 145
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fabian9 View Post


    I never said it did. I was illustrating how apple already checks your purchased apps against those installed on your device, so there is nothing stopping them from implementing the same method in the gamecenter app.



    So, you would be ok with a scenario where everytime an App launched, you had to input your iTunes account credentials so it could verify that you own the App?



    In any case, someone would still find a way to defeat it.



    The thing is this: Apple has copy protection and it works very well. You cannot install an App that you have not purchase or downloaded from the AppStore. Their side of the agreement is done.



    Jailbreaking and Piracy is outside their responsibility. If you don't want people to pirate your App, it's your responsibility, not Apple's.



    Adobe doesn't cry to Microsoft because millions of copies of CS are running on Windows pirated. or Microsoft to HP. They put in their own schemes and try to outsmart the crackers.



    This was probably the first app and first version they released. chalk it up to ignorance.
  • Reply 66 of 145
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hohlecow View Post


    If I, as a developer, can tell that my app is pirated, surely Apple can.



    The developer only noticed a discrepancy between the number of purchases and the number of high scores. He did not mention being able to differentiate between real and fake account on the fly. However, he could implement a mechanism to detect such accounts and block the users himself.



    What Apple should do is find a way to block any app from running on a jailbroken device, thus removing the draw towards it.
  • Reply 67 of 145
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    Dude, I know you like to comment, but you should try to stick to things where you know the facts.



    Since jail-breaking is legal, Apple cannot stop it. Apple has no standing regarding the downloading of pirated apps, which inevitably takes place on a different site from the distribution of jail-breaks. Should the jail-break DMCA ever be rescinded Apple will have standing in that instance and will no doubt aggressively attack jail-breakers with every legal and technical tool that they can.



    As a matter of fact, as soon as an individual makes use of a jailbreak in order to perform some task that is not in the specific list of tasks for which the DMCA exemption applies, then the user is no longer protected by the DMCA exemption.



    Using the jailbreak as a mechanism to install legally obtained 3rd party software is one of the tasks for which the DMCA exemption applies.



    Using the jailbreak as a mechanism to install illegally obtained 3rd party software is not covered by the DMCA exemption. So as soon as a jailbreaker uses the jailbroken state of their device to allow them to install a pirated app, Apple will regain standing to attempt to prosecute the individual for alleged violation of the DMCA with respect to Apple's software. The fact that an individual user may have installed pirated software is directly related to Apple's ability to take legal action against individuals who jailbreak their iPhones.
  • Reply 68 of 145
    stuffestuffe Posts: 394member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


    Mine was an estimate. I actually ignored all the numbers in the article because their data was clearly pure garbage.



    You also need to factor in returns. Maybe this game sucks and people played it for 30 seconds and returned it in the window. I imagine there are several more cases that we have not even discussed.



    I am not the one who published an article that contained absolutely 0 thought or calculations about the content. How can 90% seem right when the one thing we now for certain is that it is very wrong?



    How can we be certain it is wrong? It's only wrong is we assume that we have identified the methods they used and called them out for being wrong. I imagine they have many ways of telling, some of which technically break the rules like phoning home.
  • Reply 69 of 145
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    No, I can't. Only those who benefit will howl. And since most of those who jailbreak CLAIM they don't do it to pirate, even though most do, what are they going to say? Hey, let us use our illegally obtained software?



    Excuse me? WTF kind of accussation is that? Who do you think you are to make such a claim?



    That's the most ridiculous thing you've ever posted.
  • Reply 70 of 145
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    sorry if already posted -



    cent 1 - at least now we have some actual data of jailbreak used to pirate software

    cent 2 - perhaps the Game Center checks for a valid Apple ID but does not also check that each game is authorized under that account. Could be a simple - oops, forgot to check that and gets fixed in an update or it could be a decision not to spend the extra cycles to do the check under the assumption that it is not an issue (which turns out to be false depending on your point of view) or could be a software engineering challenge that is still being worked on.
  • Reply 71 of 145
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    So far every post that promotes some sort of illegal "blocking" of jb'd devices to counter the illegal piracy, completely ignores (because they're unaware of) the spread of devices a single app purchase can do.



    As has been described by 5 other posters, for every app I buy, it gets used on about 7 or 8 devices, which is how it should be, and it's exactly what these idiot developers confuse as "piracy". None of you so called developers have the ability to single out devices/users with illegitimate copies of your app, despite your claims.



    As far as this Fingertricks whiner goes, if his 99c app has only been purchased 1,100 times, its time to call your venture a failure and move on. There are hundreds of millions of iOS devices, even the worst paid apps get accidentally purchased mores than a thousand times, for crying out loud.
  • Reply 72 of 145
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    They just need to check the AppleID as it logs into Game Centre and see if the game was purchased by that account. If it wasn't then don't allow them to access it in Game Centre.



    But that wouldn't allow family members to use individual GC accounts.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    That's a reasonable request - and should be submitted to Apple as an Enhancement Request rather than making a big public stink about how badly Apple is treating them.



    And it's entirely possible the dev did exactly this and got no response from apple.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Apple's policies allow for 5 devices (or is it 10?) to download the same app from one purchase. Each of them has a unique GameCenter ID. Telling which ones are purchased isn't that trivial.



    What if GC apps stored the purchase account on the device (in addition to the GCID) and sent it when trying to connect to GC? If it isn't in the purchase records, no connection to GC allowed.



    In general, it seems like it should be possible for apps that require a network connection to "phone home" and verify that the user account actually purchased the app. Obviously it wouldn't work for apps that don't require the network.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Which makes the "there are xxx users but only YYY people purchased my app" complaints somewhat disingenuous.



    But only somewhat. The number of users IS going to be higher than the number of sales. But not ten times higher. The truth falls somewhere in the middle, but if someone is seeing ten times as many accounts as purchases, no question something fishy is going on. Even if his estimate is off, unless there's some other explanation it sure does look like pirated copies still connect to GC, and apple should make an effort to crack down on that.
  • Reply 73 of 145
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post


    As a matter of fact, as soon as an individual makes use of a jailbreak in order to perform some task that is not in the specific list of tasks for which the DMCA exemption applies, then the user is no longer protected by the DMCA exemption.



    He isn't but the person who provided the jailbreak still is - which is the critical point here from Apple's perspective. Apple really doesn't want to get into the business of suing thousands of ipod touch users, but it's quite happy to sue the odd hacker - if it has the legal means to do so.



    I never said that Apple lacked standing against the person pirating, I said it does not have standing against the site distributing the pirated applications - and it doesn't, unless they are Apple Apps on the site.
  • Reply 74 of 145
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,775member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post


    If I buy the app with my iTunes account and my wife play it with her game center account. How can Apple know if it's pirated or not?



    Ummmm because you have to be authorized to use the file.
  • Reply 75 of 145
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    It doesn't even require DRM per se.



    They just need to check the AppleID as it logs into Game Centre and see if the game was purchased by that account. If it wasn't then don't allow them to access it in Game Centre.



    I would have assumed they were already doing this since Game Centre seems to know what apps I have, but I guess it's just checking what's present on the device at the moment.



    How could you possibly finish this post and not realize that you are completely wrong?
  • Reply 76 of 145
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


    Ummmm because you have to be authorized to use the file.



    Umm no you don't. You can put your app on any device, create a brand new game center id, and there is no way to distinguish between legitimate and pirated.



    Next.
  • Reply 77 of 145
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by katastroff View Post


    So, you would be ok with a scenario where everytime an App launched, you had to input your iTunes account credentials so it could verify that you own the App?



    Why would that be necessary? Couldn't the device just store those credentials and just verify them against the purchase record when an app connects to the network?



    I don't see how verifying with the app store records is the same as having to type in the account password.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    As has been described by 5 other posters, for every app I buy, it gets used on about 7 or 8 devices, which is how it should be, and it's exactly what these idiot developers confuse as "piracy".



    That doesn't explain a ten to one ratio. For that to happen legally, the users of that app would have to install it ON AVERAGE on ten devices each. Meaning if there's a guy who only installs on one, someone else has to be installing it on twenty. If you believe that's what's actually happening, you're living in a delusional fantasy. Maybe there's some other explanation besides piracy that gets the numbers that high, but multiple installs ain't it.
  • Reply 78 of 145
    I don't get why this is such an issue. Apple knows the websites that distribute cracked apps, go after them and sue.
  • Reply 79 of 145
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post


    I don't get why this is such an issue. Apple knows the websites that distribute cracked apps, go after them and sue.



    Again, it's not Apple's responsibility.
  • Reply 80 of 145
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    What a ridiculous thing to say.



    Who cares if a bunch of criminals don't have Game Centre? There is no good, legitimate reason to jailbreak your phone. If you do so to get "freedom" then you shouldn't get your nose out of joint if you are denied access to a paid service that you "freed" yourself from.



    Yea, well, that's like, your opinion man...











    In all seriousness though there are many a reason to jailbreak.



    Including but not limited to:



    Expanded status bar icons (lockinfo)

    Useful lock screen (lockinfo)

    SMS quick reply (BiteSMS, QuickReply, etc.)

    LED flash(light) activation from lock screen

    Quick settings (SBSettings)

    iTunes Sync over WiFi

    Unrestricted downloads over 3G (My3G)

    Custom tones for SMS, email, etc. (WinterBoard)



    I know that apple is finally bringing many of these features to iOS 5, for that reason I dubbed iOS 5 early on their "jailbreak edition".



    You may be content with a device with factory functionality but don't assume that everyone else thinks the way or has the same low standards that you do, it's naive and arrogant.



    The only thing here that has no good, legitimate basis is your stinking sespool of a comment.



    Lastly, I've been jailbreaking my iOS devices for the past 3.5 years and in that time have never pirated an app.
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